50th Anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty

President Harry S. Truman signing the North Atlantic TreatyOn April 4, 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson and the foreign ministers of Canada and 10 Western European nations (Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal) gathered in Washington, DC, to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. This alliance created a military and political complement to the Marshall Plan for European economic recovery by establishing a mutual defense pact against possible aggression from the Soviet Union. In his brief remarks at the signing ceremony, President Harry S. Truman said the treaty

"would create a shield against aggression and fear of aggression—a bulwark which will permit us to get on with the real business of . . . achieving a fuller and happier life for all of our citizens."

Shown here are the first and last pages of this landmark treaty.

The North Atlantic Treaty

Page 1 -- English
(Click to Enlarge)

Page 1 -- French
(Click to Enlarge)

First Signature Page
(Click to Enlarge)

Last Signature Page
(Click to Enlarge)

Related Links

The North Atlantic Treaty: Full Text (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

NATO at 50 (The Truman Presidential Museum & Library)

Fact Sheet: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (The Department of State)

Image Top Left:
"Photograph of President Truman signing the document
implementing the North Atlantic Treaty..."
Audiovisual Collection
Harry S. Truman Library

Enlarged View